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Self Harm

Chi-Chi photo Chi-Chi · 28 Jul, 2020

Self Harm is something many people will have heard about. You might know someone who self harms, or be finding yourself struggling with self-harm. But what is it, why do people do it and what can you do? The Dr is in the house ...

Hello, I'm Dr. Chi-Chi Obuaya, consultant psychiatrist, and I'm gonna talk about self-harm.

This is a difficult topic for lots of people, and it sometimes brings about feelings of shame. And that's why it's so important to make sure that people understand a bit more about it.

So we're talking about situations where people do harm themselves deliberately. And in the extreme, it might be that they don't want to live anymore. But at other times, it's a way of relieving tension. Or sometimes, when people aren't really feeling emotions, it's a way of starting to feel something.

So, self harm occurs in lots of different ways. It might be cutting, burning your skin, picking at your skin, punching the walls, butting your head, or even taking an overdose. And the reasons it occurs really vary from person to person, so we shouldn't make any assumptions.

It might be that someone's going through bullying, or there's difficulty at home, or other forms of mental health difficulties, like feeling really depressed. And so, people turn to self harm because they feel really overwhelmed and they're not really sure what else they can do and how else they can overcome really big challenges in their life.

I'd encourage you to seek help if you are self-harming, and it might be as simple as talking to a friend or a family member, going to see your GP, or making use of some of the resources that are available on the Headstrong site.

I'd also encourage anyone that's feeling really overwhelmed in the moment to make use of an app called the Calm Harm app. And if the self-harming is really severe, it might be necessary to call NHS-111, or go to your local emergency department.

It's also worth thinking about some of the things that you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed, and it's easier to plan ahead. Say, for some people, it might be writing in a journal and expressing their feelings through that journal, or doing some artwork, doing exercise, like going for a run.

It's really worth spending some time thinking about those ways in which we can relieve stress, so that if it does occur, you have a few things that you can go to straight away. Thank you.

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